The first half of 2008 was an important time of Japanese leadership in the development arena. Not only did they host the G8 nations on Hokkaido in July, they also held the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in Yokohama at the end of May.
The convergence of these two high-level events led the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and partners from the Evidence-based Policy in Development Network (ebpdn) working across six countries to focus their attention on Japan’s approach to assistance and aid. The Japanese government has historically emphasised the quality, not just the quantity, of its aid, and it has made specific claims to that end. In particular, Japan highlights its support for self-reliant, demand-driven development for recipient countries and establishing effective partnerships. The goal of the ebpdn partners was to test these claims through evidence-based enquiry in the hopes of influencing Japan’s aid policies and those of other G8 nations.